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Older Job Seekers Feeling Sting of Age Discrimination in New York

Andy Rooney retired recently at the age of 92 and after more than six decades working for CBS on “60 Minutes.”

It’s really amazing in this day to consider that someone would work until they are 92, but also that they would be able to work for a company for more than 60 years. There simply isn’t that kind of company or employee loyalty anymore in corporate America.Not only for younger employees coming into the workforce now, but for older jobless as well. MSNBC reports that claims of unemployed older workers have spiked in recent years, as older Americans feel they aren’t getting a fair shot at available jobs. For those in their 50s or 60s who are out of work, the job hunt can be particularly difficult.

Age discrimination in New York is among the unlawful ways companies and employers show bias against workers. Also banned is discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability and religion, among others.

Age discrimination is on the rise. In 2006, there were 16,000 claims of age discrimination sent to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2010, that number spiked to more than 23,000, a 44 percent hike.

Older employees, in some instances, are seen as good for the company because they bring years of experience, knowledge of the craft and a stability that younger workers often lack. But older workers have been increasingly seen by employers as less than desirable, the article states.

Since the Great Recession, where older workers have been laid off as companies cut corners and try to save money, they have been unable to find work. In a high-profile case, technology firm 3M had to pay out $3 million in a lawsuit after the company laid off workers who were over 45.

In an e-mail, one of the officials stated that the company needed to develop 30-year-olds who have management potential, which followed the layoffs of the older workers.

Age discrimination is common in several areas:
-Lack of promotions -Not given opportunities to receive training -Not hired because officials believe they can’t adapt to changes
Experts believe companies feel it’s OK to lay off older workers because they have a feeling they are more established and therefore have more money stored away than younger workers. With the instability in the economy, that’s far from a given.

Also, research shows that younger workers end up taking more days off from work than older workers and because of pregnancy issues, young women end up costing more to insure. While older workers get injured less often than younger workers, they take longer to recover.

AARP’s August report on employment found that the average time that older workers — 55 and older — spend on unemployment is 52.4 weeks, compared to 37.4 weeks for younger job seekers. The report also found that 54.9 percent of older unemployed were “long-term unemployed” — meaning they have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

Older workers are getting discouraged because they feel like they don’t have a chance to get work. They feel like they are being shown the door at a higher rate than their younger co-workers and that may be due to age discrimination in New York.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides employment law legal counsel in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

More Blog Entries:

Documentation often Critical when Providing Employment Retaliation Lawsuits in New York: March 29, 2011
61-Year-Old Long Island Man Sues For Swimsuit Discrimination: August 19, 2011
Additional Resources:

Older jobless workers struggle as age bias claims rise, by Eve Tahmincioglu,